AMES, Iowa — If Kansas hopes to live up to its preseason promise, the Jayhawks are going to have to learn to win on the road.
No. 4 Kansas lost its third straight Big 12 game on the road Monday night, this one to No. 14 Iowa State 85-72.
All three losses have been by double figures, not what coach Bill Self is accustomed to seeing from his competition-hardened teams.
"We haven't played with a lot of poise away from home," Self said.
The Jayhawks (16-4, 5-3 Big 12) unraveled at noisy Hilton Coliseum after leading for the first 28 minutes. Turnovers, bad shots and Iowa State's
improved aggressiveness on defense all contributed to the Kansas collapse.
"We didn't stay composed, we didn't take care of the ball and we didn't get the stops we needed," said Perry Ellis, who led the Jayhawks with 23 points.
Monte Morris scored 21 points and Georges Niang had 19 — 15 in the second half — for Iowa State, which rolled to its fourth straight win.
Abdel Nader added 17 points for the Cyclones (16-4, 5-3), who have beaten three of the top four teams in this week's Top 25.
Iowa State overcame a sluggish start with a 24-7 run midway through the second half, and Niang's three-point play made it 80-67 with 2 minutes left.
"I think in the second half they played really well," Self said. "But we didn't do much to combat that."
Frank Mason III added 16 points for Kansas, which lost early road games to West Virginia (by 11) and Oklahoma State (by 19). The Jayhawks have lost four of their last five against the Cyclones, a first for a Self-coached team against a Big 12 opponent.
Iowa State was only a week removed from toppling top-ranked Oklahoma, its first win over a No. 1 team since 1957.
But this was the game the Cyclones and their fans have had circled on their calendars since October.
Some Iowa State students camped out for up to a week waiting for tickets to the game, which has long figured to have major implications for the Cyclones if they hope to end Kansas's 11-year streak of Big 12 titles.
It was the Jayhawks who came out on fire.
Kansas hit 17 of its first 29 shots against a defense that entered play ranked last in the Big 12 in points allowed and went up 43-36 at halftime.
"I thought we played pretty well the first 25 minutes," Self said. "Then they got hot."
And the Jayhawks went cold. The Cyclones finally pulled even at 53-all on a 3-pointer by Matt Thomas with 11:40 left. Deonte Burton's 3 with 9 minutes to go gave Iowa State its first lead, 60-57.
The Cyclones kept rolling after that. Kansas shot just 40 percent in the second half, including 0 for 6 from 3-point range after making five 3s in the opening half.
"I really believe shot selection is a big deal," Self said. "I also believe our defensive intensity (slipped). The things you have to do to win away from home, we're not doing that yet."
Kansas: Four Kansas starters had at least three field goals in the first half — and all of them shot at least 50 percent. ... The Jayhawks joined No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 3 Iowa as teams who have lost in Ames this season. ... Kansas was outscored 49-29 in the second half.
Iowa State: Morris was named the Big 12's player of the week Monday. He averaged 19 points a game in wins over Oklahoma and TCU. ... Thirteen-year-old Henry Campbell, a ball boy for Iowa State who lives in nearby Waukee, hit consecutive half-court shots before warmups. He then made the "3'' sign with both hands as the student section cheered him on.
"When he gets to that left shoulder, he's hard to stop. He gets there in a plethora of ways." — Self on Niang.
Kansas hosts No. 20 Kentucky on Saturday.
Iowa State plays at No. 5 Texas A&M on Saturday.